NHS England will now follow an accreditation process for providers of dental services, who are contracted to deliver level 2 services for Oral Surgery and Endodontics, according to new documents published by the Chief Dental Officer for England. Much remains unclear about how the accreditation process will link to the regulator (i.e. the CQC) and NHS England’s own commissioning document for restorative dental services remains unpublished at the moment, despite being referenced in the new accreditation documentation. In London, the procurement for level 2 oral surgery services will be completed in early 2018. As a result of the delay, new services are currently set to commence in July 2018. NHS England (London region) is developing plans for a London-wide procurement of level 2 endodontic and periodontic services.
NHS performer accreditation
In a similar way, there will be an NHS England process for the accreditation of NHS performers delivering care under an NHS contract for level 2 services (currently either oral surgery or endodontics). It is unclear how the revalidation of performers can take place fairly, in the absence of an equivalent revalidation process for those with GDC specialist registration. Currently, GDC specialist registrants bypass the new NHS accreditation process by virtue of their GDC registration as a specialist. The contractual levers available to NHS England to enforce the accreditation of performers delivering certain types of treatment are also unclear.
NHS England dental commissioning teams around the country have been directed to follow this new documentation when undertaking the procurement and mobilisation of new level 2 dental services for oral surgery or endodontics. In London, both level 2 oral surgery services and level 2 endodontic and periodontic services are set to be commissioned within the coming financial year (2018/19). The documentation describes these processes as “interim” and invites feedback on their applicability and usefulness from NHS England staff.
Download the documentation
If you have feedback and would like to discuss the documentation with colleagues locally, please contact us.